Video Game Update
I thought I’d take a few minutes and give a bit of an update on the games I’ve been playing around with lately.
Unfortunately, I must say that I haven’t been playing KSP much lately. With the 1.3 update of KSP, their focus was almost completely on the console versions of the game. The result of which is a great console release to a large market for them and a buggy linux release for me. I’m not entirely sure whether it is an issue with Steam, Unity, Squad’s stuff, or the Mono (the library KSP seems to use for GUI) install on my system, but the game does not start up properly, and the few times that it does the display is all messed up.
Instead, I have started to explore some other games that either my friends have talked a lot about or that have piqued my interest through the Steam store.
The first game that I tried after giving up on KSP was Terraria. It isn’t a new game by any means. I believ it has been available for about 5 years at this point, but it is available for linux and comes highly recommended. A short description might be something like: Terraria is a 2D version of Minecraft that includes bosses and goals and a much more complex crafting system. I played Terraria for a week or two - maybe 20 or 30 hours in total.
I like that style of game quite a bit. The world is open enough that you can do whatever you want or set your own priorities. But on the other hand the game gives you enough guidance or goals that you’re never completely at a loss for what to do next. There is a ton of variety in the various ecosystems and I could easily see myself still discovering new things after 100s of hours in game.
At the insistence of my friends at work I picked up a couple of new games this weekend. Well, one was at the insistence of my friends, the other was my own indulgence. In my defense they both came to less than $50 total. Don’t judge me.
The game that was recommended to me is Factorio. I can’t really say a lot about this one yet. It’s another survival game, 2D, but top down instead of side on like Terraria. You have to mine and craft and increase your tech to reach a goal just like Terraria and Starbound but the catch with Factorio is that you are charged with mining/building everything. So in order to scale up the operations in order to build the larger, more complex/expensive things in Factorio you are required to essentially automate factories using factory components.
So where Terraria involves hollowing out caves and crafting that material into stuff, Factorio involves creating pathways of conveyor belts and arms and drills and power so that ore is automatically mined, placed into a furnace and smelted, then the sheet metal is put on another conveyor and taken to the… you get the picture. It’s sort of an Engineering take on the block mining theme.
Like I said though, I need to spend some time researching and learning how to do Factorio otherwise I’ll be stuck wondering why none of my machines work the way I wanted.
Finally, the last game I wanted to mention is Starbound. I’ve only just started looking at this game, like Factorio. I think I can easily see Starbound sucking me in more than Terraria or Factorio. It is, again, a block mining/crafting game. This time the twist is that you are stuck on a broken space ship and need to explore the planet you are stuck on to leave. Apparently that is just the first mission and after that, you get to fly around to different planets for different missions. So it’s a cross between Terraria - a 2D block mining/crafting and building game - and the Mass Effect style RPG with quests and a story line. I’ve played less of Starbound so far than the other games mentioned but I’ll definitely be giving it some time as it seems to be right up my alley. Unfortunately, Starbound is the only one of the bunch that doesn’t work super well on Linux. That said, they are still in open Beta so perhaps the Linux support will improve a bit over time.
I think these will keep me occupied for the next little while. I’ll try and remember to check in later with an update on these games.